Jeff Gall, Senior Vice President, Head of Hazard Research

02 Jun 2016

How did I get here? I joined Validus Research in 2010, after having dipped my toes in the academic waters subsequent to my graduation from The Pennsylvania State University in the spring of 2009. My graduate program armed me with a number of skills that have proved invaluable during my tenure with Validus Research; namely, problem solving and out-of-the-box thinking, the ability to learn and ultimately understand a specific concept in which I have no formal training, and effective communication of difficult scientific items.

What am I doing now? As it turns out, the (re)insurance space is an excellent place full of applied research problems. I find it incredibly satisfying to conduct a fresh research project, and then watch the results get consumed by the Validus Group to influence business decisions. Moreover, I have been given the opportunity expand my knowledge from tropical meteorology to other areas of the physical sciences including severe convective storms, extra-tropical cyclones, hydrology, and seismology. With regards to hydrology specifically, I am part of a small but high-functioning group responsible for the quantification of flood risk in the US. These models are directly used by the business for the private flood product initiative.

What is a typical day like? Validus has created a culture where superior analytics and scientific understanding are truly appreciated and utilized to the fullest in underwriting decisions. On one day, I am getting a call from one of our agriculture underwriters asking about long-range weather patterns which could influence corn yields over the growing season. The next day, I am asked about the frequency of 2 inch hail events in Travis County, TX. I never know what the next day will bring!